Thursday, August 08, 2013

The Trans Iowa Master's Program: Update.

Mrs. Guitar Ted was on Facebook last night when I heard her exclaim, "Trans Iowa Master's Program?!!.......What?!!", and then she gave me "the look".

Ha! Well, after I explained it, she shook her head and went about her business. Not everyone will be interested or "get it", but surprisingly, the reaction so far has been surprising and swift. This reminds me of when Jeff Kerkove first posted about the idea of a cross state mountain bike ride on his blog. (That eventually became Trans Iowa.) Folks seemed jazzed about this new challenge, just like they were back then about Trans Iowa.

I was busy yesterday spiffing up a page with my ideas for this on it. First off, I have to tip my hat to my fellow gravelists up North at Operacion Muerto.  Some of them were inspired by coming to T.I.V2 and have since been cooking up ideas for gravel rides in Manitoba. It was their rules and guidlines that I took and bent to my own purposes. (Thanks!) Secondly, the name of this event was inspired by Darryl Pals, so he gets the credit for the tongue in cheek name and theme behind the idea. (Thanks!)

Okay, with all the banter that happened yesterday, two things cropped up that I wanted to address in today's post.
  1. Trans Iowa V10 will be a separate event from the Trans Iowa Master's Challenge. T.I.V10 will be run on the 26th and 27th of April, 2014 in a loop format out of Grinnell, Iowa. The Trans Iowa Master's Program, (TIMP), will be open for competition from June 1st through August 31st, and will be a point to point event from West to East across Iowa. Two separate events. 
  2. Social Media: The focus on self support for the TIMP brought up the pesky issue of social media and digital connectiveness that we all seem to thrive on these days. My hope for the TIMP is that those who accept The Challenge will unplug themselves long enough to get the ride in and not be tempted into virtual route reports, mental support via all sorts of connective pathways, or to have those interested be tempted to rendezvous with riders attempting The Challenge on the course somewhere. That plus some other things that digital tethers bring. 
Of course, I would expect a cell phone for emergencies, or that  folks would post things on their timelines for those following along at home, but it can be used as a way to "prop oneself up" mentally, and of course, for cheating yourself out of the harder way that is more rewarding. In the end, I would hope those that do take up The Challenge will do so with honesty and integrity and follow the spirit of the event. If they do not, I probably won't know, and have no way to prevent that. It won't hurt me, gain anyone anything, and will only be a festering sore on one's spirit for their remaining days. Those taking up The Challenge will have to decide for themselves what is best.

More details will come in the future. Stay tuned....


Josh Lederman said...

Would it fit the spirit of TIMP to set up a way for virtual spectators to follow who is on course and their progress, similar to the Tour Divide blue spots?

It would be fun to know who's on course and how they're doing. I know I'd check once or twice a day just for kicks.

Maybe a two or three voice mail requirement at certain stages. Or just a text from certain towns that has cell coverage.

Just a suggestion. Thanks GT.


Guitar Ted said...

@Josh Lederman: There may be a call in feature, much like we had for T.I.V9, which folks could listen to. But honestly- the competitors should knock this out in 35 hours or less, so unless they are taking it at touring speed and sleeping somewhere, (which by the rules would DQ them from The Challenge anyway), they will hardly be on the course long enough for many folks to notice. Add in the fact that that this challenge spans three months and there will be many days when no one will be out there- Well, it gets less appealing to do a "blue dot" feature for this. I mean- we don't really even know how many folks will actually do this. It may only be a handful.

Josh Lederman said...

I was thinking riders would be talking about it on beforehand on FB and other places so people around would know so-and-so is starting and could follow them. I see your point though since it is a only really a day and a half maybe there wouldn't be much interest,not to mention that for the racers it might be hard to make time to call in. Just a thought. Great idea, keep up the good work.


Nathan said...

The TIMP sounds great, and I'm excited that you'll be able to cross the state again.
Just a heads up, I live pretty close to Hawarden, and I spend a lot of time on the gravel roads in the area.
If there is anything that you need at the start (road conditions, verifying that a rider has started, etc.) let me know. I won't be participating in the TIMP, but I'd be glad to help.
I also work at the local bike shop, so if riders need anything before they start, let me know.

Guitar Ted said...

@Nathan: Hey- thanks for the offer to help out. Could you shoot me an e-mail with your contact info? I have some questions for you, if you don't mind.

Looking forward to chatting with you.